Midwives & Health Visitors
All your midwives and those that work with them (Maternity Support Workers, Health Care Assistants and Nursery Nurses) are fully trained to support breastfeeding mothers. You will get the opportunity to have an individual discussion before 32 weeks of pregnancy, usually with your Community Midwife, so this is a good time to ask any questions you may have about feeding your baby.
After your labour is over take time to enjoy your first skin to skin contact with your new born baby. Try not to rush this process, it helps to regulate your baby’s breathing and temperature, calms your baby and helps you to bond with your baby, which often helps you make a decision about feeding. The Midwife who has delivered your baby will be able to show you how to put your baby to the breast. This support will be available on the ward too where you will be encouraged to keep the baby with you so you get to know each other and you will be shown different ways of holding your baby for a feed. Before you are discharged the Midwife will show you how to hand express breastmilk and provide you with an information leaflet – this might be an opportunity to discuss other ways of expressing and storing breast milk, what the milk looks like and what quantities you might expect.
After your baby is born the Community Midwife will visit you the day after you are discharged from hospital. She will provide you with all the help and support you need to continue breastfeeding. You will always be able to speak to someone in between visits as she will leave you with contact details.
A Health Visitor will visit you at home usually between day 10 and day 14 after your baby has been born. As well as Health Visitors, Family Health Nurses and Nursery Nurses are all part of the team and are fully trained to support you with breastfeeding.
They can offer support and advice on any feeding issue you may have such as how to combine breastfeeding with returning to work. Most babies do not need to be given anything other than breastmilk until they are around six months old and the Health Visiting team will provide feeding support for you throughout this time. They will help you recognise when your baby is ready for other foods. The Health Visiting team are available Monday to Friday during office hours.